David Bowie and Rolling Stones on UK postage stamps

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The Independent Culture

Stamp collectors and rock music fans will be clamoring for a new set of stamps, issued January 7, featuring classic record album artwork. Will this encourage people to use the postal service instead of email and the internet?

The concept intends to celebrate the designers who created the iconic artwork as well as the musicians. The Royal Mail consulted music magazine editors and graphic designers to determine the most significant sleeve artwork by British artists for the collection.

The entire series of 1st-class stamps will be available in a specially designed package that looks like a vinyl disc sliding out of a record sleeve.

The set of 10 stamps includes:

- Rolling Stones' Let it Bleed
- The Clash's London Calling
- David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars
- Pink Floyd's The Division Bell
- Coldplay's A Rush of Blood to the Head
- Primal Scream's Screamadelica
- Blur's Parklife
- Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells
- New Order's Power Corruption and Lies
- Led Zeppelin's IV

The illustrator Terry Pastor, who designed Bowie's cover, experienced a turning point in his floundering career after the album was a huge success. He had previously used the same airbrush technique with transparent inks and Letraset on Bowie's Hunky Dory album. The artist has since designed book covers for authors such as Arthur C. Clark, Mickey Spillane, and Michael Crichton.

Though "postage stamp size" is a joke, in the digital age album artwork barely exists, compared to prior eras when good album artwork had the power to help sell a vinyl record.

The series of stamps is in line with other design-themed stamps such as Europe and America's "Masters of Modern Architecture" series, Canada's famous designers, and comic book characters.

RC

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